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Islamic Aesthetics: An Introduction (review)

Islamic Aesthetics: An Introduction (review) (822­908) Shi guizhi (Teacher's rules), compiled in 901, also deserves a special mention in any discussion of the origins of Chan codes since it is the oldest extant monastic code composed by a Chan teacher.1 Putting aside such minor quibbles, Yifa deserves praise for producing an outstanding work that makes an important contribution to our understanding of Chinese Buddhist monasticism, and by extension the religious history of medieval and late imperial China. The book provides significant data and nuanced analysis of monastic texts, practices, and institutions, thereby dispelling romanticized notions, which still hold sway in many places, about a freewheeling, institutionally independent Chan tradition with a penchant for iconoclastic excesses. Yifa's discussion also opens up new perspectives on the history of monastic institutions and their place within the broader socioreligious contexts of premodern China, and indirectly raises a number of interesting questions that merit further research. For instance, what exactly were (the range of) the Chan tradition's attitudes toward the Vinaya regulations? Namely, if they followed the Vinaya, why was there a need to reproduce specific Vinaya regulations in the Chan codes? (The same questions apply if we presuppose that they rejected the Vinaya.) Moreover, what were the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Islamic Aesthetics: An Introduction (review)

Philosophy East and West , Volume 56 (3) – Jul 20, 2006

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
Publisher site
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Abstract

(822­908) Shi guizhi (Teacher's rules), compiled in 901, also deserves a special mention in any discussion of the origins of Chan codes since it is the oldest extant monastic code composed by a Chan teacher.1 Putting aside such minor quibbles, Yifa deserves praise for producing an outstanding work that makes an important contribution to our understanding of Chinese Buddhist monasticism, and by extension the religious history of medieval and late imperial China. The book provides significant data and nuanced analysis of monastic texts, practices, and institutions, thereby dispelling romanticized notions, which still hold sway in many places, about a freewheeling, institutionally independent Chan tradition with a penchant for iconoclastic excesses. Yifa's discussion also opens up new perspectives on the history of monastic institutions and their place within the broader socioreligious contexts of premodern China, and indirectly raises a number of interesting questions that merit further research. For instance, what exactly were (the range of) the Chan tradition's attitudes toward the Vinaya regulations? Namely, if they followed the Vinaya, why was there a need to reproduce specific Vinaya regulations in the Chan codes? (The same questions apply if we presuppose that they rejected the Vinaya.) Moreover, what were the

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 20, 2006

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